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Being Alive San Diego is offered $30,000 matching contribution

SAN DIEGO -- Being Alive San Diego, which has provided life-saving services to San Diegans living with HIV and AIDS for over 20 years, has recently received a $30,000 matching gift from two of the organization's supporters.

The organization, which has struggled over the years due to government funding cuts, hopes community members will step up and help reach the matching donation goal so Being Alive can continue its tradition of providing high-quality services to those most in need.

At least 15,000 San Diegans are HIV-positive or have AIDS. Many more people are estimated to have HIV, but are not yet diagnosed, and 76% of San Diegans with HIV/AIDS live below the federal poverty level, which adds economic stress to their daily physical challenges, said Shannon Wagner, executive director of Being Alive.

Being Alive seeks to alleviate some of these challenges, through its many services:

- Peer advocacy

- Enrollment services for AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) and Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act (CARE)

- Commodities

- Moving/relocation assistance

- Holistic AIDS Response Program

- Haircuts

- Social and recreational activities

- Support groups

- HIV 101 seminars and speakers bureau

- A resource center

In conjunction with Priority, A MOMs Pharmacy, Being Alive also operates an innovative HIV Community Learning Center at 3940 Fourth Ave. in Hillcrest. The center provides free access to HIV/AIDS information and services, along with educational classrooms, a community resource wall, an artist gallery, an onsite client advocate, and a pharmacy.

Founded in 1989 by a small group of individuals who wanted to let the community know that it was possible to live - and live well - with HIV, the organization has grown to become San Diego's most comprehensive resource for HIV/AIDS services and education. Being Alive's leaders like to say that instead of just providing services to the community, they give people one of the most invaluable commodities known to man - hope.

Being Alive utilizes four key strategies to further its goal of providing hope to the people it serves:

-Health and wellness promotion;

-Early intervention, education and prevention;

-Adherence and medication support, and ;

-Life skills education and support services.

Wagner hopes that community members will step up to help her organization raise the $30,000 it needs to be given the matching contributions, which will bring in $60,000 for the organization to continue to provide its life saving and life changing services.

"Please answer the call to become a catalyst for positive change in San Diego today," Wagner said, adding that she hopes people will be as generous as they can.

Also, Being Alive's annual "Art & Soul" event (formerly known as "Soul Plates") will be held Saturday, June 23 at the Sunset Temple in North Park. Tickets purchased through Thursday, May 31 will count towards the matching gift drive.

To purchase tickets for the event, call Jim at 619-291-1400 ext. 312 or e-mail jcassidy@beingalive.org.

For more information about Being Alive or to make a contribution, click HERE or visit Facebook.